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Thai schools urged to boost speaking | Education | Guardian Weekly - 0 views

  • The Thai government has embarked on an ambitious nationwide programme to teach English at least once a week in all state schools as part of the new 2012 English Speaking Year project.

    The initiative is intended to ease Thailand's entry into the Asean community in 2015, when southeast Asia becomes one economic zone and a universal language is required for communication and business.

    The project will focus on speaking English rather than studying its grammar, with teachers provided training through media modules and partnerships with foreign institutions, including English-language schools, according to Thailand's education ministry.

  • While the ministry aims to incentivise teachers to create an "English corner" in classrooms containing English-language newspapers, books and CDs, the programme is in no way mandatory and will rely instead on a system of rewards. Those who embrace the project may receive a scholarship to travel abroad or be given extra credit at the end of term, Sasithara said.
  • Native speakers will have a role to play in the project, said Sasithara, who expects to start recruiting teachers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and US, as well as from countries where a high level of English is spoken, such as Singapore, the Philippines and India.
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